Instant Pots are one of my specialties. I teach Instant Pot workshops around town as well as doing in home custom Instant Pot classes so I am always looking for great accessories to use with this magical machine. As much as I love to pressure cook, the one downside is the inability to get any sort of browning/crisping on dishes made in the pot. Cooking a whole chicken in a pressure cooker results in the most tender, moist chicken but it also means sad, damp chicken skin so you can either remove the skin to serve or you have to take the chicken out, and brown it in the oven, which is a giant pain.
Thank heavens for the Mealthy CrispLid because not only can you use it to transform your pressure cooker into an air fryer, but you can also just swap the lid for the CrispLid after cooking stuff that needs a crisp exterior and brown it right there in the same pot. I do a lovely pressure cooked bread pudding but the only thing missing is that nice, crisp top crust you get from baking in the oven. Now, I can just make the bread pudding, like always and then swap out the lids, sprinkle some sugar on top and turn on the CrispLid to brown the top.
So, this is how it works:
You must have a 6 to 8 quart electric pressure cooker with the steel inner pot – it will ruin your non stick liner if you have one
If you are just using it as an airfryer, don’t even plug in your pressure cooker, just pop the CrispLid on and plug that in. Put the 3″ trivet in the pot and then set the basket on top of that (both come with the machine)
If you are browning something you just cooked under pressure, release the pressure, take off the lid, turn the machine off and pop the CrispLid on. If you are browning food cooked straight in the steel inner pot, just make sure the food doesn’t rise above the half full mark. If you are cooking something that requires a trivet like bread pudding, lasagna, meatloaf etc, use the 3″ trivet to pressure cook it so that you just have to switch the lid and go.
To activate the lid, click the handle down
Adjust the temperature from 300 to 500F, in 25 degree increments
Set the time – 0 to 60 minutes
press the start button and the machine will suddenly glow like a spaceship. You can check the food through the glass ring.
When you remove the lid, place it on the silicone trivet that comes with it as it gets very hot.
Or you can just read the user guide
It has a glass panel so that you can keep an eye on it to avoid burning or overcooking.
It’s compact and doesn’t take up a ton of room like an actual air fryer
For small batches of roasted vegetables etc, you don’t have to turn on the oven
It fits just about every 6 to 8 quart pressure cooker – I have used it with both the Instant Pot and my Breville
It’s very easy to use and clean – no extra buttons or confusing programs
because you need little or no oil, the food is less greasy and contains less calories if you care about that type of thing.
This thing is great if you are only cooking for two our three people but if you have a big family, you are going to have to cook in batches and it might just be too small for your needs.
The power cord is shorter than expected to prevent tripping over it so you have to use it right next to an outlet, which shouldn’t be a problem in most kitchens but it’s something to note.
The temperature only moves in 25F degree increments so you have a little less control over precise temperatures.
It is not recommended to let allow children to use this without adult supervision as underside of the CrispLid gets very hot (which is why you have to set it on the silicone trivet after cooking with it)
So, at the end of the day, this thing is perfect for me. There are only three of us and we rarely eat all at the same time anyway, so it’s a fine size. Like many downtown people, I don’t have room for an actual air fryer in my tiny kitchen, so the compact unit can be stashed away in the cupboard.
Since getting this thing, my diet is improving because I am roasting all sorts of vegetables every day, just for my own meals. There is no way I would heat up the oven just to roast off a handful of mushrooms and half a zucchini but now, I can do that in a matter of minutes.
Disclosure: I received a free CrispLid to try out and review if I liked it and have not been further compensated. As always, all opinions are my own
Curry Salt Wings
approx 1kg chicken wings
*2 tbls Curry Salt
1 tbls Baking powder
Take the wings out of the packaging and dry them off with a paper towel. Toss them with the curry salt and baking powder and set out on a rack over a plate or a small sheet pan. Put the wings in the fridge for at least an hour (up to overnight) to let dry out. The dryer the wing, the crispier they will be.
Put the trivet in the inner pot of your 6 to 8 quart pressure cooker (Instant Pot works perfectly but it will fit almost every electric pressure cooker). Spray the basket with food spray or wipe with a bit of vegetable oil and set the basket on the trivet. You can fit about 10-12 wings if they are split into flats and drums and not huge. If you are making more than that, you will have to do them in batches. This recipe required two separate batches to cook.
Pop the CrispLid on top of the pot and push down the little handle. Now you can program in the time and temperature. Cook them at 375 for about 25 minutes. Remove the CrispLid and set it on the silicone trivet and using tongs, remove the wings to a plate. If the wings were very large, you might want to cook them for another couple of minutes. Just pop the lid back on, change the time and go.
Serve with raita and your favourite chutney – coriander and tamarind are my favourites.
* Curry Salt
makes about 1/2 cup
1/4 cup Madras curry powder
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 heaping tbls Togarashi
Mix all three ingredients together in a small jar and give a good shake. Store in an airtight container out of the light and it will last for 6 months.